Research FTW, or research FAIL?

Recently, students in an ENG 312 class were asked to fill out a Research Process Assessment. This assessment asks students to reflect on their latest research experience and describe what went right, what went wrong, and what they would do differently next time.

Here are some excerpts – perhaps there’s something here that will make the research process easier for you:

What went right?

  • “The library staff were outstanding. Very helpful with resources and ideas, always patient and informative.”
  • “Having access to journals is great.”
  • “Met with library staff on more than one occasion. Made a research appointment with a librarian. I was assisted as if I was the only one in the library; that made me feel special.”
  • “I chose topics that I am very passionate about throughout the course, so the research was fun to do.”
  • “I feel that the other students in the class learned something from my presentations.”
  • “For the first time, I was able to seek a book on my own from the Marygrove library.”
  • “I used the librarians quite often, even if the simplest question or problem arose. I got to know them and they got to know me.”

What went wrong? If you’ve experienced any of these same problems, remember that a librarian can help!

  • “Reading on the run, I tend to misplace pages.”
  • “I had information overload.”
  • “Making sure I stuck to only H1N1 and not venture off to the flu. Seemed hard because they are so similar but eventually got easier.”
  • “I became nervous and did not know where to begin. I initially tried to find sources on my own and wasted a lot of time.”
  • “Time management was not perfect in my case. Although I am a student, I am also a homeowner, and I work part-time.”
  • “I did not use the writing center as much as I should have.”
  • “Looking at an article and then trying to find the same article later.”
  • “Can’t always find scholarly analysis.”
  • “Librarian was familiar with topic and also gave other keywords to search for.”

What will I do differently next time?

  • “Write an objective or plan, exactly what am I trying to accomplish?”
  • “Budget time.”
  • “I would make an appointment for help. The class sessions in the library are very helpful but also overwhelming. Using the assistance of someone knowledgeable makes a huge difference.”
  • “I will slow down.”
  • “Next time I will find out how much information is on the topic I am interested in writing about before I start researching and writing.”

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